Page images
PDF
EPUB

Then shall, with universal dread,
The sacred mystic book be read,
To try the living and the dead.

The Judge ascends His awful throne;
He makes each secret sin be known,

And all with shame confess their own.

O then, what interest shall I make

To save my last important stake,
When the most just have cause to quake?

Thou mighty formidable King,
Thou mercy's unexhausted spring,
Some comfortable pity bring !

Forget not what my ransom cost,
Nor let my dear-bought soul be lost
In storms of guilty terror tost.

Prostrate my contrite heart I rend;
My God, my Father, and my friend,
Do not forsake me in my end !

Well may they curse their second breath,
Who rise to a reviving death.
Thou great Creator of mankind,
Let guilty man compassion find

GO, LOVELY ROSE.”

BY EDMUND WALLER.

[EDMUND WALLER was born at Coleshill, in Herefordshire, in 1605, and was educated at Cambridge. At twenty-three years of age he married a rich heiress, who died soon afterwards. He then wooed Lady Dorothea Sidney, eldest daughter of the Earl of Leicester, to whom, under the name of Saccharissa, he dedicated the greater part of his poetry; but she haughtily rejected his addresses, and he married another. During the Commonwealth, he was committed to prison for a plot, and to save his life made a confession of guilt ; but he did not obtain his liberty until he had suffered a year's confinement, and paid a fine of ten thousand pounds. He then set out for France, where he remained, until permitted by Cromwell to return. After the Restoration, he became a favourite both of Charles II. and James II. He died in 1687.

Waller was witty and accomplished, and his familiarity with the Court gave to his verses a smoothness which has hardly been exceeded in modern times. He sat in Parliament for a long time, and distinguished himself on many occasions; twenty thousand copies of one of his speeches were sold in a single day.]

Go, lovely rose !
Tell her that wastes her time and me,
That now she knows,
When I resemble her to thee,

How sweet and fair she seems to me.

Tell her that's young,
And shuns to have her graces spied,
That, hadst thou sprung
In deserts, where no men abide,
Thou must have uncommended died.

Small is the worth

Of beauty from the light retired ;
Bid her come forth,

[merged small][merged small][graphic][ocr errors]

Then die! that she
The common fate of all things rare
May read in thee,
How small a part of time they share
That are so wondrous sweet and fair !

RETIREMENT.

BY CHARLES COTTON.

(CHARLES COTTON was born at Beresford, in Staffordshire, in 1630, and was educated at Cambridge. Having travelled for some time, he retired to his estate, which had been much embarrassed by his father, and there gave himself up to study and angling, from which he did not permit himself to be diverted. To improve his circumstances, he devoted much of his time to translations. When forty years of age, he obtained a captain's commission ; and he afterwards married the Countess Dowager of Ardglass, who had a jointure of £1,500 a year. But even this did not extricate him from his difficulties, as his wife's fortune was secured to her; and he died insolvent at Westminster, in 1687. Cotton was witty and accomplished ; he was an intimate friend of Izaak Walton.]

FAREWELL, thou busy world, and may

We never meet again;
Here I can eat, and sleep, and pray,
And do more good in one short day

Than he who his whole age outwears
Upon the most conspicuous theatres,
Where nought but vanity and vice appears.

Good God! how sweet are all things here!
How beautiful the fields appear !

How cleanly do we feed and lie!
Lord! what good hours do we keep !
How quietly we sleep!

What peace, what unanimity!
How innocent from the lewd fashion,
Is all our business, all our recreation !

[graphic][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »